More Than Half of COVID-19 Health Care Workers at Risk for Mental Health Problems

A new study, led by University of Utah Health scientists, suggests more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia.

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How and why microbes promote and protect against stress

The bacteria, yeast and viruses that make up the human microbiome affect physical health, behavior and emotions. Some microbes in the human microbiome prosper when the body is under stress, while other microbes contribute to buffering the body against stress. Evolutionary theory suggests reciprocal relationships between microbes in the human body and stress; these relationships can possibly be harnessed to promote physical and mental health.

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Smiling sincerely or grimacing can significantly reduce the pain of needle injection

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 1, 2020 — The coming of winter means cooler temperatures, shorter days and flu shots. While no one looks forward to a vaccination, a study led by the University of California, Irvine, has found that either a sincere smile or a grimace can reduce the pain of a needle injection by as much as 40 percent. A genuine, or Duchenne, smile – one that elevates the corners of the mouth and creates crow’s feet around the eyes – can also significantly blunt the stressful, needle-related physiological response by lowering the heart rate.

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UCI professor’s life skills course is expanded to all 10 UC campuses

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 30, 2020 — Long successful at the University of California, Irvine, Mahtab Jafari’s Life 101 course will be available across the 10 UC campuses during the upcoming winter quarter. The class teaches healthy lifestyle choices, promotes students’ well-being, and helps them to recognize and manage their stress.

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10 tips from a health and wellness expert to make the most of the holidays during COVID-19

People are craving a little holiday joy after many months of navigating the upside-down world that COVID-19 has created. Looking forward to the holidays and positive emotions many experience around this time are important, but it may be time to re-envision what our holidays are going to look like. Here are some tips to make the most of an unusual holiday season for you and your loved ones from Binghamton University Health and Wellness Studies Lecturer Jennifer Wegmann.

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Cynical Hostility Presents a Potential Pathway to Cardiovascular Disease

Cynical hostility is a potential pathway to cardiovascular disease by preventing a healthy response to stress over time, according to a Baylor University study. Hostility generally is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. But this research explored three types of hostility — emotional, behavioral and cognitive — to see whether one is more predictive of risk factors. Cynical hostility, which is cognitive, poses the greatest risk, based on stress responses.

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